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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #101

[Proginoskes the cherubim (singular, with a plural name) is not wearing a Halloween costume.] Charles Wallace’s drive of dragons was a single creature, although Meg was not at all surprised that Charles Wallace had confused this fierce, wild being with dragons. She had the feeling that she never saw all of it at once, and which of all the eyes could she meet? merry eyes, wise eyes, ferocious eyes, kitten eyes, dragon eyes, opening and closing, looking at her, looking at Charles Wallace and Calvin and the strange tall man. And wings, wings in constant motion, covering and uncovering the eyes. When the wings were spread out they had a span of at least ten feet, and when they were all folded in, the creature resembled a misty, feathery sphere. Little spurts of flame and smoke spouted up between the wings; it could certainly start a grass fire if it weren’t careful. Meg did not wonder that Charles Wallace had not approached it. [...] “I meant that cherubim only matter with earth people. You call it materializing.” “Then, if you become visible only for us, why do you have to look so terrifying?” “Because when we matter, this is how we come out. When you got mattered, you didn’t choose to look the way you do, did you?” “I certainly did not. I’d have chosen to be beautiful – oh, I see! You mean you don’t have any more choice about looking like a drive of deformed dragons than I do about my hair and glasses and everything? You aren’t doing it this way just for fun?” Proginoskes held three of its wings over a great many of its eyes. “I am a cherubim, and when a cherubim takes on matter, this is how.” Madeleine L’Engle, A Wind in the Door (1973), pp. 54, 118

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